Formatting rules for exception messages

mark.reinhold at mark.reinhold at
Wed Mar 27 16:45:25 UTC 2019

2019/3/25 5:24:37 -0700, Florian Weimer <fw at>:
> Are there any guidelines for formatting exception messages?
> In particular, I'm interested in the case when the exception message
> is a (clipped) sentence.  Is it supposed to start with a capital
> letter?
> If the message refers to a parameter name, the spelling should reflect
> the name exactly, of course.  There seems to be a slight bias towards
> capitalization, based on a few greps.  ...

The first word of any exception message in code that I’ve written, or
reviewed, is always capitalized unless that word conveys case-sensitive
technical information (e.g., a parameter name, as you mentioned).  This
improves readability, especially in longer exception messages that
contain additional punctuation characters.

- Mark

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